skip to content
Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 29 November 2017

WA's Fishability charity gets funding boost

  • ​Election commitment delivered
  • The McGowan Government has increased Fishability funding by 25 per cent to $100,000
  • Fishability continues to develop fishing programs for people with disability
  • Two dedicated volunteers share the 2017 Nev Thomas Award

The McGowan Labor Government has delivered on its election commitment to increase funding for Fishability - a charity that supports people with disability who love to go fishing - to $100,000 per annum.

At last night’s Fishability Annual Celebration and Awards event at Royal Perth Yacht Club, Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly made the funding announcement while thanking the dedicated volunteers of the charity.

In the past year, more than 90 Fishability volunteers have helped run about 220 activities for more than 2,800 participants in Perth, Mandurah, Albany, Busselton and Geraldton.

The charity, which is now in its 17th year of operation, grew out of a then Department of Fisheries’ Volunteer Fisheries Liaison program and the efforts of the late Neville Thomas, who identified fishing opportunities for people with disability.

Last night, volunteers Dee Castillo and John Staples won the annual Nev Thomas Award which is awarded to a volunteer who embodies the organisation’s values and has made a significant contribution throughout the year.

Dee Castillo and John Staples shared the honour. Dee has helped set up and develop the Peel region’s Fishability program and John’s role as boat co-ordinator has involved upgrading and refurbishing work and managing bookings.
The inaugural Patrons Award went to J.K. Backhouse for establishing a partnership with Albany’s Princess Royal Sailing Club and the new Chairman’s Award was shared by Top Gun Charters and WA Bait Supply for their support of Fishability over many years.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“Making recreational fishing accessible to people with disabilities brings many rewards for individuals and the community.

“That is why the McGowan Government has delivered on its election commitment to increase funding for the program by 25 per cent to $100,000 annually.

“This funding will help Fishability and volunteers to expand their programs around WA to reach more participants, including through the introduction of a school program.

“I congratulate all the winners of last night’s awards; the volunteers are the reason that Fishability programs are making a difference in Western Australia.”

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly joins Fishability participant Shaun Cole and Fishability Coordinator for the Jetty North Program Sharon Morris at Hillarys Boat Harbour for a fish.

Minister's office - 6552 6100

Last modified: 29/11/2017 9:48 AM

© All contents copyright Government of Western Australia. All rights reserved. ABN: 18 951 343 745


© This work is copyright. You may display, print or reproduce this material only in an unaltered format for your personal or non-commercial use, or for use within your organisation. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved.


The information and advice provided by the Department of Fisheries website is made in good faith and is from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of release onto the website. Changes in circumstances after a document is placed on the website may affect the accuracy of the information. Full disclaimer details are available at